If you’re expecting or you’re thinking about having a baby in the not-so-distant future, chances are you’ve given thought to how different your life will be once your little one makes an appearance. You’ve also probably considered what you need to care for a new baby.
And this care actually starts before your baby takes its first breath as you pay more attention to your own health and wellness during your pregnancy. Comprehensive prenatal care plays an important role in your pregnancy.
At Yakov Levy MD PC in Midtown East, Manhattan, and Forest Hills, Queens, New York, we’re dedicated to bringing you the best in women’s health. Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Yakov Levy works hard to make sure you and your little one get the care you both need to have a happy, healthy future.
Here’s a closer look at why prenatal care is so important and what you can expect.
Understanding prenatal care
Comprehensive prenatal care is a type of medical service that involves regular check-ups with Dr. Levy. These visits allow Dr. Levy to monitor your health and watch over the health and development of your baby.
During your prenatal visits, Dr. Levy conducts exams, screenings, and lab tests to help catch any pregnancy-related complications early, to make sure you and your baby are getting the right nutrients, and to evaluate your baby for birth defects.
Other prenatal care services include:
- Checking your weight
- Observing your baby’s heart rate
- Blood pressure and pulse checks
- Nutrition and diet counseling
- Pelvic and breast exams
- Growth measurement of your baby
- Prenatal blood testing and screenings
- STD screening
- Sonograms and ultrasounds
- Genetic testing
- Cord blood banking
- Treatment for gestational diabetes/preeclampsia
Dr. Levy also goes over your labor-and-delivery plan, and he answers any questions or concerns you have that come up along the way.
The importance of prenatal care
Comprehensive prenatal care helps keep you and your baby stay as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy and delivery. In fact, prenatal care is so important that babies whose mothers did not receive it are three times more likely to have low birth weight and five times more likely to die before or during birth.
This important care brings many benefits to you and your baby, including:
- Checking nutritional wellness, which helps with normal fetal development
- Providing emotional support to reduce pregnancy-related anxiety
- Protecting against potential complications, like low birth weight or preeclampsia
- Managing existing health conditions, like high blood pressure
- Partnering with you to ensure you have an effective birth plan
Prenatal care also allows Dr. Levy to monitor your pregnancy and the baby’s progress to make sure any issues are discovered and addressed early.
When to start prenatal care
For women who aren’t yet pregnant but are planning to have a baby soon, Dr. Levy recommends setting up a preconception appointment. This allows him to check for any underlying health conditions that may affect your ability to conceive or cause issues during your pregnancy.
If you know or suspect you’re pregnant, schedule a prenatal visit at Yakov Levy MD PC as soon as possible. Dr. Levy confirms your pregnancy and begins ongoing prenatal care. While Dr. Levy customizes your visit schedule based on your unique needs, most prenatal appointments follow this timeline:
- Through week 31 — every 4-6 weeks
- Weeks 32-37 — every 2-3 weeks
- Week 37 through delivery — every week
If you’re considered a high-risk pregnancy or have any underlying medical conditions, you may need to see Dr. Levy more frequently.
Prenatal care helps you do everything you can to keep you and your baby healthy. Call the Yakov Levy MD PC office in NYC nearest you to schedule an appointment, or book a visit online now.